The Washington Wizards have won since starting the season with a disastrous 17-32 mark 12 out of the last 14 games.. The unlikely run gave the team a shot in the postseason, which would have seemed funny just a few weeks ago.
Now the team Play-in tournament.. Let’s take a look at two key elements of the team and what triggered Washington’s turnaround.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal Click
Wizards exchanged former franchise icon John Wall for Houston Rockets December 2, 2020.. The 2020-21 NBA season began on December 22, 2020. It’s not hard to understand why Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal’s backcoats took so long to get back on the road to victory.
As they say, time heals everything — and it’s certainly everything that took Westbrook and beer.
“They don’t have the excuse bones that some players have,” said head coach Scott Brooks. “It’s easy to find, there’s a lot. Travel, it hurts,” I have to deal with off the court “,” I’m cold “,” The coach doesn’t play me “,” I I haven’t taken a shot. ” There are always excuses you can use, but two of them don’t. They lead.If you have a chance to win in a row [your two best players have to buy in].. “
Westbrook was the “only” average 21.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 10.5 assists, but his shots were poor at 43.2 / 30.9 / 61.3. Split.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 1, 2021
However, From April 7thThe previous MVP is averaging more assists and boards with more efficient shooting. Westbrook was sporadically available earlier this year, but Westbrook started all of the team’s last 14 games.
“I was a coach [Westbrook] In a shortened season, “Brooks said. “I don’t know how many years. It was 5 games for 7 nights. By the night of the 5th day, there were 3 games in a row and I wasn’t worried. I said it again. “
In addition, Westbrook 27 consecutive double-doubles, the longest consecutive win in his career.. Westbrook achieved 177 career triple-doubles after the team defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers. Only 4 shy Of connecting the most Oscar Robertson in league history
“When you are in this position and are mentioned by a great man like Oscar [Robertson], They praise what you do for the game, it’s really an honor, “Westbrook said. “That’s something I don’t take for granted.
“”[Robertson] A man who has had a hard time becoming an African-American athlete in our game and has done more for the game, played at a time when he sacrificed a lot to play the game. I understand that and thank me for having a conversation with my name related to him. “
Russell Westbrook has a 177th triple-double career tonight … after three-quarters. Five more, he passes Oscar Robertson.
— Mark Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 1, 2021
In his short time with Wizards, Westbrook was already Triple-double, the best leader in team history..
“It’s really great,” Brooks said. “It’s so cool to meet him and I can’t think of any other words other than what he’s doing. How he makes us out of court, in court, in the locker room, in the hotel, in the bus. He was great for our organization. I can’t be any more happy for him and his family. He got this. He got it. I hope you can … I’m excited …. He’s very good. “
Westbrook and Beer’s lineup isn’t the best of the team, But it’s the highest rated of the two most played pairs of six in Washington...
And as always, beer dominates the season completely.his 31.3 points per 2nd place in NBA game rank.. One of the underrated aspects of Beal’s game is how he reaches the line and the speed at which he connects. Beer attempts an average of 7.5 free throws per game, which ranks second in his career.He took full advantage of those opportunities and shot a career high of 90.1 percent off the line...
Roll player to step up
Washington serves as an equal appreciation for this spectacular run while the team’s stars play stellar basketball. Despite losing Thomas Bryant and Deni Avdija for a year, Wizards is still running deep.
In the last 14 games, Wizards’ bench averages 45.4 points per game, making it the second best in the league. The unit also shoots 54.8 percent of the highest ranked floors in the league.
Raul Neto, The person the basketball insider spoke to earlier this seasonAverages high numbers throughout his career and is slipping into the team’s first role.
“It’s just his consistent waste. [Neto] It’s just scrap, “Brooks said. “He grinds all his possessions with a pure heart, plays and just competes … [Neto] Do a great job of driving and kicking … he consistently loves guys. His teammates love him. He competes every day. Game in and game out with the same attitude. “
Neto averages 8.4 points and 1.1 steals, shooting 46.6 percent from the floor and 3 to 38.8 percent. In addition, Neto was a defensive pest to counter Westbrook and Beer’s scoring punches. Neto is one of the few players with a positive defensive box plus / minus. This is easy to see by looking at the team’s play...
In fact, if Neto scored 12 points or more this season, the wizard is 11-5.
“I think everyone is healthy and consistent,” Neto said of what triggered the mid-season turnaround. “Most of the games we have are owned by almost everyone. There are three or four guys and no game that breaks the rhythm … and definitely [Westbrook] And [Beal].. They play well in all games and have an amazing stretch that is huge for us. I think it shows that their leadership is important. It’s very big for us not only to talk and do what they are doing, but to play well for us. “
Another player who was an unlikely wonder is Daniel Gaffford. The arrival of Gaffford with Chandler Hutchinson at the closing date sparked a 12-2 run. After a disappointing stint with the Chicago Bulls, Gafford was Wizards’ surreal glue man.
With a sample size of 14 games Gaffford averages 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 0.8 steals per game, over 18 minutes per night...During this time, Gaffford boasts a net rating of plus 23! And 104 defensive ratings, Both are the best in the team.
Gaffford’s 5.1 Box Plus / Minus is the best on the team, ranking higher than Beer’s 3.4 and Westbrook’s 2.2.
Daniel Gaffford dunks all over Kuzuma 😤 pic.twitter.com/x8It8Agt9H
— ESPN (@espn) April 29, 2021
Gafford undoubtedly helped support Wizards’ front court, but Robin Lopez and Alex Len both deserve praise for holding the fort without Bryant.
Len arrived in the middle of the season after a short stint with the Toronto Raptors. Upon arrival, Ren became a starter in the center position, averaging 7.6 points per game with a highly efficient 63.4% clip. Len divides the time by Lopez and his position, who are spending the bounce back season with the same percentage of field goals as Len.
Even newcomer Anthony Gill enjoys on the front court, Average 9.3 points in 76.2% shooting in his last four games, Earn extended play time.
“”[Gafford] Ish Smith came in and gave us good minutes, Ish Smith came in and gave us good minutes, “Brooks said. “Last month and a half we seemed to be playing well, but after that, guys will emerge in every game out of nowhere. I’m confident in any guy, so I’m always prepared for them. I tell you to do these days [Gill].. He hasn’t played all year long, but he’s ready and stepped up, that’s what you want. They did a lot of work. “
And of course, fans can’t forget Davis Bertans and Rui Hachimura. Bertans shoots more than 40% from the depths at a high rate while Rui Hachimura continues to grow in the 22-year-old season.
Even if Wizards didn’t achieve that in the postseason, team fans still have to feel good about how the team reacted after adversity. Losing Brian and Avdija is not an easy task, and you just wonder how Wizards would be different if Beer and Westbrook had a complete training camp to click on.
With the traction of the first round and the full off-season ahead, the once dim future of the Wizard may be brighter than many once thought.
“I think we have a good team,” Brooks said. “We’ve got some great players, continuity as a group. Like tonight, we’ve stepped up the game given to everyone. [Gill] Who stepped up and gave us good minutes.
“We are healthy. We have a good team. We have done a lot, but I think the biggest thing is that we stayed at it. Still 9 games Remains and plays as before. Every game, every day is important. It seems that someone is stepping up every night. “
– NBA Sports
NBA Daily: Depth to Promote Washington Turnaround | Basketball Insider
http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-daily-depth-fueling-washingtons-turnaround/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss NBA Daily: Depth to Promote Washington Turnaround | Basketball Insider